Faith in violence prevention
Exploring the role of faith in violence prevention, Reverend Nove Vailaau of EFKS Porirua refers to international faith-based movements to end family violence, and supporting literature and scripture condemning violence.
The World Council of Churches has declared that “all forms of violence are an offence against God, humanity and the earth”.
He also draws on personal experiences providing pastoral care and counselling, and providing examples of how faith leaders can deliver family violence prevention mes-sages to their congregations.
There are four key themes for church action in violence prevention.
As the Body of Christ, Churches must eliminate all forms of violence and promote a culture of peace and non-violence
- Make denominational statements against family and sexual violence
- Carry out theological and biblical research on family and sexual violence
- Challenge Biblical interpretations that support family and sexual violence
- Identify and eliminate the root causes of violence
Churches should honour and respect the dignity of women
- Redefine and reposition the place of women in families, Church and society toward equality of men and women
- Promote equality of men and women in Church structures
- “Headship” in marriage is the “oneness” of the husband and wife
Church leaders should be ready to confront
- Acknowledge the existence of family violence within our communities
- Understand family violence from the physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual perspectives
Key roles Church can play in violence prevention:
- Church leaders to proactively lead the way rather than denying responsibility
- Develop family violence materials towards prevention
- Create preaching, teaching, training and counselling services to change people’s atti-tude and behaviour about family and sexual violence. Facilitate workshops / seminars in churches to share positive and honourable ways to sustain human relationships of love and kindness